Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Parts of Turkeys and Pigs

Monday at 2 in the afternoon is not the best time to decide you are going to smoke a pork shoulder. Not being my first foray into the greatness of the other white meat (RIP The Duke) I should have known that this was a bad idea. Large amounts of pork at a low temperature takes a while to cook, and I timed Mondays activities very poorly. I am going to go ahead and admit this, I had to use the oven. We will get to that. Onto the meat.

A six pound pork shoulder and 3 turkey legs cost $10 on Memorial Day at Alberstons on Mockingbird and Abrams in Dallas. Put it on your calendar if you are looking for plans next year.

Made my own rub for the pork goodness. Black peppercorns on the left, chile piquins on the right and ground mustard seed at the bottom. Put it all back in the spice grinder and mixed it all up. Didnt use exact amounts and dont think I am going to going forward. This amount was a mostly perfect mix of spice and tang.

Added in a little garlic powder for good measure.

No pic of the shoulder with rub all over it, but I literally covered every square inch. I then patted in some brown sugar on the fat side. No reason for the brown sugar other than I watched Good Eats the night before and Alton was using it in stuff. It's important to let it sit for a while before putting it in the smoke to preserve the juices. The brown sugar was pretty much absorbed too.

Onto the turkey legs. Not much to them. Hawaian/Himalayan crushed sea salt, rub from before and a put on the grill.

Rubbed liberally with a spattering of smoked paprika.

Smoked these guys for a little over 3 hours at 225. Unlike the smoked turkey legs at the fair or other outdoor gatherings, these were not one entire smoke ring. The turkey had a perfect amount of smoke taste and the meat absorbed a lot of the spices. I was surprised to find that the meat had such a spicy taste sans skin.

Back to the shoulder. This was after 4 or 5 hours. At this point of the day a few Silver Bullets had been consumed and the realization that time was going to be a problem sank in quickly.

Wrapped it up at 10:30 and left it in the smoke until Midnight.

At Midnight I admitted failure and wobbled back in the house. Put the guy in the oven at 200 until 6am. Figured 6 more hours in direct heat would do the trick and I was right.

Pulled it out at 6am and the internal temp was a little above 190. Wasnt quite pulling the way I wanted it to, but i wasnt using tongs and I needed some advil. I should have trimmed the fat off the top before pulling as well. But it's ok.

Saved the PSA for a meal to be named later.

The shoulder produced a lot of meat. This is a good sized serving tray and the whole damn thing got filled up. Covered in foil and put in the fridge because it was 6 and I was tired.

Cut to Wednesday night. Pulled the PSA out of the fridge. About 3/4 inch of fat had accumulated at the top.

Scraped that S off and put half of it in a pan with some Stubb's BBQ sauce and some of the shoulder.

Tacos are good.

All in all it was delicious and will be done again. I think a couple shoulders could easily feed 30-40 people. Its a lot of meat. I will be doing turkey legs again soon, they were the big winner of the day because they were damn good and didn't take nearly as long. Thanks to HUGEsmoke for his substantial and important contributions to the process.  That's all I got.

~El Smokeador~

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gs1s said...

I've been silently stalking this blog for some time now, whilst working up the nerve to challenge you guys to a smoke-off. Your mostly FW-centric posts heretofore led me to believe that geography would pose a problem, though your most recent missive makes me think this may not be so. I live not too far from the Albertson's you referenced and am also well familiar with the fine art of smoking pork shoulder (I'm planning to put one on around 5 a.m. tomorrow morning to avoid the timing problem you encountered). FYI-pork shoulder is $1 per pound at the Tom Thumb across the street as of last night.

Keep up the fine work (and the most thorough documentation thereof) and we'll have to do the smoke-off at a later date. My cohorts and I have now acquired a trailer smoker, so distance is no longer an issue. Happy smoking.


El Smokeador said...

i think a "smoke-off" might be a little unnecessary, but I would gladly join you for an afternoon of smoking various and copious amounts of meats.

simply_barbara said...

The oven? C'mon, at least have a gas smoker as a backup/ overindulgence/ insurance policy. I have one of these sitting on my front porch beside the forever grill, the wood smoker, and the charcoal smoker.

It works great for those late fall days when the temperature drops and it starts snowing before you can finish wood-smoking the pork roast. It also works great when you first start experimenting with the art of brining.

SmokeHopper said...


We will dance with you in the six sided ring of fire until a true winner appears, or until the smokers run bluish grey with the smoke of the pecan, or until dinner time....whichever comes first. What type of challenge do ye contemplate. I hope it involves smoke macaroni and cheese. Some said it couldnt be done.....some didnt know the fella. In conclusion, bring it. On.

Anonymous said...

why would the temperature drop restrict you from finishing your smoke?

Anonymous said...

As the Mayor of Wizards, I hereby announce that the SmokeNizitron shall forever been had in Valhalla, in memory of this great great great "web log". Wizardssssssss UNITE!

Gandalf said...

oh and feel free to contact me at:


gs1s said...

If you guys are interested, my buddy (and partner in most of my BBQ-ing endeavors) has volunteered to cook for over 100 persons for a work picnic this weekend. The plan calls for 8 briskets and 8 pork shoulders, with most of the cooking to be performed in advance at his house beginning on Thursday. He lives near Greenville and Forest and you'd be welcome to stop by to help us stare at the smoker, drink beer and pitch washers (the beers aren't going to drink themselves, you know). It would be a nice opportunity to get acquainted and plan for future BBQ-related adventures.